Author Topic: Thrift Store Gifts!  (Read 3302 times)

PJ

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Thrift Store Gifts!
« on: February 15, 2017, 10:59:22 PM »
So, I have been following along in the Homemade Christmas thread, and I love the ideas that are coming up there.  I am definitely going to be doing some handmade gifts this year.

But, I would also love to be able to do some of this year's gift giving from the thrift store.  I figure that by starting early, and waiting for just the right thing to come along, I should be able to find a good number of my gifts through thrifts!

Anyone want to join me in a thrift store gift giving extravaganza???

I made a couple of thrift store stops this week, and while my main focus was replacing some items in my wardrobe, I also picked up a few gift items:

1.  Set of 3 small earthy coloured ceramic bowls, in an Asian-inspired style.  Perfect for my friend N.  Will round out the gift with 3 small bags of snacky goodies like rice crackers and nuts from the bulk food store.  $3 for the bowls - similar budget for the food!

2.  Kitchen shears and adorable polka dot spatulas (brand name, new in package).  One set blue, one set red.  Coincidentally, package of butterfly themed kitchen "clips" for closing packages, one blue and one red.  Package on these is damaged, so will separate them and use them as a decorative element on the package.  Possibly to round out with some baked goods, or some fancy pasta or sauce or other consumable item.  $7 per gift so far.

Also picked up a few other odds and ends that will likely go into "gift basket" type gifts - possibilities include:

1.  New in package "popcorn bags" ($1) could go with a microwave popper and/or some fancy kernels or spice mixes for popcorn
2.  Two sets of brand new playing cards ($1 each set), both kind of cool (one set the cards are clear plastic and come in a metal box, the other set from Umbra the cards are oval and come in an oval plastic egg) - entertainment or games themed gift basket, or package with a board game or cribbage board - something that requires playing cards
3.  Couple of glass containers ($2-4) that I'd love to turn into terrariums ($2-4) - cross over with the homemade Christmas idea

I do have one problem - a couple of my family members would not be excited to receive something from the thrift store.  So I will have to work around that.  Others would be fine with getting some things (jigsaw puzzles, books) but not other things (food dishes).  Only one brother, I think, would be ok with receiving clothes from the thrift store.  I will probably look for some clothes for him closer to Christmas, so I can get an updated size from him. 
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frugalkristen

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2017, 08:59:23 AM »
A couple weeks ago, I went to Plato's Closet to get a pair of jeans (my only pair ripped...).  I walked in to find out they were having a 40% off sale (I had no idea!).  The prices were incredible!  I ended up buying 4 prs of jeans (boot cut and skinny - both work for me) and a few items for my grown kids for Christmas.  2 of my kids don't care at all but 2 of my kids might mind.  Oh well.  They will get some very nice clothes under the tree and I'll never mention where I got them!  Nice button downs for $3 and Northface jackets (absolutely perfect condition) for $16! 

PJ

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2017, 11:03:13 AM »
A few years back, when I was in grad school, my youngest brother had asked for long sleeve shirts.  He has a uniform shirt, but where he works can be a bit cold at times (hot at others!) and he wanted to layer under the uniform t-shirt.  I talked to him privately, and said straight up that I could probably afford to get him one long-sleeved t-shirt on sale, or I could buy him several from the thrift store.  He shrugged and said he didn't care.  And he always has black jeans on his gift list for birthdays and Christmas, because he wears those for work too, and goes through them relatively quickly.  So I'll definitely be finding out his clothing needs a little later in the year, and looking to get him some jeans and shirts for Christmas!

Thanks for posting/joining me in here - I know it's early for Christmas planning, but I was feeling just a little bit lonely :-)
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LindseyC

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2017, 11:26:39 AM »
For me personally, I love all things vintage, so my family buys a lot of gifts for me secondhand. Last Christmas my dad gave me a complete set of Loonie Tunes 1978 drinking glasses he found at a yard sale. They were mint, never used glasses and cost him next to nothing. I was super thrilled for the gift AND the fact that they were "thrifted." I also was in desperate need of some glasses.

My SO is very much the same mindset as me, as are most of my family (both sides) and a lot of my friends. Most everyone is on board for thrifted and made gifts, which I think makes gift giving a lot more fun because it's a challenge to find the perfect thing and you get such a positive bolt when you win!

I just found the perfect birthday gift for my dad. He wanted a copy of the game Qwirkle that we introduced him to. Well a month later, I found it at the thrift store for $3!!!! It is regularly $30-35 in stores. He will be so stoked, because like me and my glasses, its the perfect gift and he will love that I found it for a score.

I have a passion for vintage Christmas blow molds, but I only buy them when I find them for less than $10. My SO found me a giant Santa (much bigger than normal) for $7 and I think I told every single person about it for the whole next week, I was that excited. My SO was so pleased with himself and I know we will both remember that gift for years and years because it meant something to both of us, we were genuinely nerdy excited.

I can think of a million examples of giving and receiving thrift gifts that worked out perfectly. So I am definitely in for this thread!!

PJ

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2017, 11:49:18 AM »
Hey LindseyC!  Sounds like you and your family have made some great finds over the years!

Two years ago, I found several really pretty jigsaw puzzles for my mom for Christmas.  One was still sealed in the box, the other had two puzzles in one box, and one bag was still sealed.  I opened the other bag (just taped shut) and counted through all the pieces to make sure they were all there.  I dropped some at one point when someone bumped into the back of me with their cart!  After crawling around on the floor (yuck!) to find all the pieces, I started my count all over.  It was worth it though, to find mom 3 puzzles for about $5.

I'll share something else that I bought on my recent trip, even though I posted about them in another thread.  I saw these really lovely plastic placemats that pictured a bunch of colourful tulips.  Mom loves colour, and spring flowers.  At $1 each, perfect for Valentine's Day.  I rolled them into a cone, wrapped brown paper and ribbon around the bottom, and presented them to her with a card tucked inside, looking (kind of!) like a bunch of flowers.  She appreciated the creativity, and it felt a lot better than spending money on chocolate and candy for her.  And she had mentioned in passing a while ago that she wanted some easy clean placemats for kitchen table, so it met a practical purpose as well.  Plus, colour, and spring flowers - who couldn't use a little of that!  :-)
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LindseyC

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2017, 01:24:24 PM »
PJ, my mom would have loved your placemats and your presentation, that is exactly something she would think was super cute. 

I admit my entire house is all second hand items, I honestly can't think of anything furniture/decor wise that I have bought new. I also super lucky that our family is really keen on saving money and has the thrifting spirit, it always makes for some humble brags at gift giving times which adds to the upbeat spirit of the moment.

I will post any gifts I find in this thread. I keep my eye out all year long.

frugalkristen

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2017, 02:33:20 PM »
I plan for Christmas all year.  I often get things for free or very discounted and hide them away.  I spend $100 on each of my 4 kids at Christmas but usually have $250 per kid worth of gifts under the tree. It takes a lot of planning to be so successful.  I never know where my next find is going to come from - great coupon/sale deals, thrift stores, yard sales.  It's different all the time.  I follow blogs and look at Craigslist all the time.  It's worth it for me though because I love giving my kids a nice Christmas and I have a lot of fun finding awesome deals!  It's sort of my hobby. 

I was even excited to walk to Walgreens today to get free toothpaste!  I usually stock up on those deals all year (toothpaste, toothbrushes, bodywash, etc - whatever I can get free - to put in their stockings.). 

BTW - that $100 I spend on each kid is usually from gift cards or Amazon cash that I earn from online sites (Swagbucks, InstaGC, etc).

PJ

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2017, 04:00:34 PM »
The other day, we were in a meeting at the church, talking about finances - our annual meeting is tomorrow and we do need to increase our donations to hit our projected budget.  Some people were commenting that we should not expect more from them people because of how expensive it is to live in Toronto (which is mostly true!)

I briefly talked about making choices - like the fact that I do have a car, with those resulting expenses, because of the nature of my work hours and being on-call, really, at any time.  But then I pointed out that I am able to make do with little in other ways, so that I can still support the church.  And I stood up, pointed to my (new to me) pair of $6 dress pants and (new to me) funky bright red $13 sweater/wrap.  One of the guys on the leadership team looked SO embarrassed for me, but a lot of the ladies in the room were delighted and laughed.  I don't care, not like any of them would be able to pick the thrift store stuff from the non-thrift store stuff in my wardrobe!
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frugalkristen

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2017, 04:17:31 PM »
I LOVE the jeans I bought at the thrift store!  They are in perfect condition and super comfortable.  I really don't care what people think (no one would ever know). 

I'm 47 and recently divorced after 22 years of marriage.  My ex-husband made a very good living but I have always been frugal.  Most people think that he was the "cheap" one but I know better.  I was always tucking money away for the kids' college and our retirement.  I decided to walk away from all of that lifestyle (unfortunately, he didn't take our vows very seriously) and start over.  We split the assets but I chose to take no alimony (I was a stay-at-home mom but re-entered the workforce a few months before leaving him).  I support myself on an entry level salary (I work a ton of OT).  I've never been much of a shopper so staying under budget is pretty easy for me.  I've tried to teach my kids to be careful with money - 2 of the 4 get it (they are 18, 21, 22, and 23 - still time for them to understand). 

My 21 yr old daughter loves thrift store finds - and always brags about how little she spends on clothes - while looking great.  She's a hairdresser in a very hip salon.  She needs to look current and fun but spends a fraction of what her coworkers spend - and looks better!

sparkytheop

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2017, 01:51:23 AM »
I have always bought items for my son's gifts at thrift stores, mostly, books.  I've received recipe books from thrift stores (they work exactly the same as a brand new recipe book would!)

In my family, we are down to where we pretty much only gift homemade items, if we gift at all.  My son usually asks me what I want, so I make an amazon wish list (easy place to put a bunch of different kind of items), and tell him to check out the thrift stores, local restaurant supply store (this Christmas I got a knock box for the espresso machine, something I really wanted, but didn't want to spend the money on for myself, since I was getting by fine without one), etc.

I'm working on making a quilt for my parents (with my sister and sister-in-law), and some of the fabric has come from the thrift store.

I've been putting together a "when you move out" stockpile that I will gift to my son when he goes away to college and/or gets his first apartment.  Some of those items were bought second hand and include pyrex measuring glasses, mixing bowls, and cast iron skillet(s).

I've also given vintage lunchboxes I found at a great deal, photo frames, etc.

I keep to things that are unique enough that no one would care they weren't brand new, don't show signs of wear, don't decrease in value (not sure how else to word that-- a glass measuring cup isn't going to suddenly not be unusable, less useful, in five years), etc.  Tools can be a good example too.  Many older tools were made much better than a lot of the cheap stuff imported now. 

For gift baskets, I don't use literal baskets, since no one really uses them.  I've used a small (3 gal?) bucket from Home Depot (when they go on sale for $1), a "beach bucket" I found at the thrift store, a tin in the shape of a dog bone for homemade dog treats (found at the thrift store), mason jars for honey (got a gallon of local honey at the farmer's market for $28 one year, so everyone got a smaller jar of honey in their gift basket, and I still had plenty for myself).  Tool boxes and bags also work as baskets.

If you do food in a jar gifts (soup, cookies, brownies, etc), you can buy the mason jars at yard sales/thrift stores.

You can make your own gift bag from fabric bought second hand (estate sales, thrift stores, yard sales, etc).  We got bags made from a pair of jeans as the wrapping for a gift from my sister-in-law.  My mom got half the top, so she was able to loop a ribbon through the belt loop and now uses the bag for a portable knitting project (holds the yarn, needles and pattern, and she can take it when she babysits, has to take my dad to dr. appointments, etc).  Mine was made from the leg of the jeans, so it wasn't as easy to add a handle, but I just stitched one on and it's good to go.

For people who want nothing to do with thrift store, second hand items, no matter how pristine condition they come in?  I'm not good at deception, so I don't know if I'd just give it to them anyway.  I'm more the kind who would not spend any more on them than I do on the others, even if the result is that the value of their item might is less.  If I can fill up a bucket for one person using items from the thrift store, and I come to $5 spent, the "only new" person would also get a $5 gift (bought on sale with coupon at least, if possible).  If they complained that the person with the bucket got 10x the amount of stuff, well, that's what happens when you value where the item came from over the item itself.  Fortunately, I don't have this issue.  No one on my list would care if a mason jar or a tin, a book, etc, was bought new or at the thrift store.

PJ

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2017, 10:25:23 PM »
frugalkristen, I can't remember the last time I bought jeans *not* at the thrift store!  They are just sooooo much cheaper there.  When I bought my brother 2 pairs of $20 each Walmart jeans for Christmas, it made me sad to pay that much just for jeans.  And though I understand the appeal of knowing exactly which style of Old Navy jeans look great on you so you can just go straight in and grab them off the shelf, I kind of like that at the thrift store I can pick up a couple of different styles/colours/washes etc, and get a different look from each.

sparkytheop, when I first sublet the basement apartment, it was to an older lady who was accustomed to spending most of the year in Florida but had to come back to Ontario and stay indefinitely when her husband started needing more care.  She was staying with her son but wanted to get her own place, fairly quickly.  All their stuff was in Florida.  But for less than a hundred bucks, I got a basic set of 4 place settings of dishes (that I loved!), 4 slightly mismatched but similar white mugs, measuring cups, mixing bowls, pyrex dishes, a teapot and trivet, a set of water/juice glasses, etc.  Along with a few duplicate utensils and knives from my kitchen, and she had the basic kitchen that she needed.  It was well worth that little bit of money to get the rental income coming in. 

Also, I love love love all your container ideas!  I am going to watch out for similar things :-)
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Dicey

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2017, 01:14:11 AM »
Not Thrift Store, per se, but I'm adding it to the inspiration pile. I volunteer at the Library Book Sales. Okay, so I'm on the board and I help set up, promote and run the book sales, because, you know, FIRE and all that. We sell used books for $1. We sell a bag of books for $5 in the last hour of the sale. The next day, when we take down the sale, anything left over is our favorite price...FREE! At home I have a gift closet. In that closet I have a box for books. I add to it little by little and by Christmas I always have lots to choose from. Hmmm, my BIL loves bathroom reading material. One brother is in the wine business. Another is a baseball nut. In the course of a year, sometimes I forget what I've tucked away, so when I get the box out, it's fun to see everything I've collected. It's like shopping without the crowds or parking hassles or bills.

While I'm on the topic, I'm going to brag a little and tell a "people are funny" tale. One year, after our October Quarterly Sale, we got a lot of really good looking books donated. I thought it was a shame to crate them up until the January sale. We decided to have a "Books that are so perfect you can pass them off as new for gifts" sale. It's now our favorite sale of the year. We cull for recent titles in perfect condition, plus interesting topics in general, plus holiday themed books and music, plus children's books. Anything less than perfect gets set aside for the January sale and we are ruthless. Then we price every book (unlike normal sales). We price things individually, at about 20 to 30 percent of retail instead of our usual $1.00 or thereabouts.

What's funny is that people are happy to pay these inflated prices. It blows our minds! We think it's a form of anchoring. People are thinking about these spanking-new looking books in terms of what they'd have to pay for them in a store or at Amazon, so they're happy to pay our much higher than usual, but still a terrific deal, prices. It's the easiest sale we do and we make almost as much as our 5000+ books quarterly sales.

TL;DR version: If there are readers on your list, check your library's book sale schedule. You'll be glad you did.
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Drole

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2017, 10:08:19 AM »
As a life long thrift store junkie, I'm in.  I also love the idea of using only side income for gifts for the kids like Frugalkristen does.  I generally don't do those small online things to earn $, but I think using it for gift money would be great motivation for me.  Will work on getting my husband on board too.   


sparkytheop

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2017, 11:03:15 AM »
Yesterday I shopped by the thrift store to browse fabric for quilting (and anything else I might be in the mood to sew).  The blankets/comforters/quilts hang next to the fabric and one caught my eye.

It's a 60" x 60" handmade quilt (machine sewn and quilted, but the binding was done by hand).  The craftsmanship is excellent and the quilt had no stains, tears, fading, signs of wear.  As a new quilter, I can see the skill that went into making this quilt.  It could be for a child or a handyman-- the quilt is done in coordinating black and primary colors, the fabric has a fun tool print with hammers, saws, nuts and bolts, etc.  I just love it!  It was a rare purchase in that I paid "full price" since the color of the tag was not on sale this week (one color goes 50% off, another 25%, the rest are full price).  I paid $7.  While it's not the same as giving a quilt I made myself (and would not claim to have done so!) it's still handmade.

My son's childhood babysitter has recently adopted her grandson to raise.  She used me as a reference in her paperwork (I filled out an "interview form").  I think I will contact her and see if she wants it.

I've already put it through the washer and dryer to make sure there are no surprises (loose seams, etc).  It passed with flying colors.

PJ

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2017, 04:01:17 PM »
As a life long thrift store junkie, I'm in.  I also love the idea of using only side income for gifts for the kids like Frugalkristen does.  I generally don't do those small online things to earn $, but I think using it for gift money would be great motivation for me.  Will work on getting my husband on board too.   

Welcome! Thanks for joining us!

Yesterday I shopped by the thrift store to browse fabric for quilting (and anything else I might be in the mood to sew).  The blankets/comforters/quilts hang next to the fabric and one caught my eye.

It's a 60" x 60" handmade quilt (machine sewn and quilted, but the binding was done by hand).  The craftsmanship is excellent and the quilt had no stains, tears, fading, signs of wear.  As a new quilter, I can see the skill that went into making this quilt.  It could be for a child or a handyman-- the quilt is done in coordinating black and primary colors, the fabric has a fun tool print with hammers, saws, nuts and bolts, etc.  I just love it!  It was a rare purchase in that I paid "full price" since the color of the tag was not on sale this week (one color goes 50% off, another 25%, the rest are full price).  I paid $7.  While it's not the same as giving a quilt I made myself (and would not claim to have done so!) it's still handmade.

My son's childhood babysitter has recently adopted her grandson to raise.  She used me as a reference in her paperwork (I filled out an "interview form").  I think I will contact her and see if she wants it.

I've already put it through the washer and dryer to make sure there are no surprises (loose seams, etc).  It passed with flying colors.


That sounds like an awesome gift, and $7, when you know the astonishing amount of work that probably went into it ... yikes!  Breaks my heart.  Also breaks my heart when I see large, well-executed embroidery and cross stitch in the thrift store, that it seems no one wants these days.
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frugalkristen

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2017, 04:23:30 PM »
As a life long thrift store junkie, I'm in.  I also love the idea of using only side income for gifts for the kids like Frugalkristen does.  I generally don't do those small online things to earn $, but I think using it for gift money would be great motivation for me.  Will work on getting my husband on board too.

You should look into those small online things to earn - I make about an extra $150 a month.  I use a few sites and have been doing so for years (practice makes it easier to learn what to do and what to skip).  I work 40 hr work week (plus as many OT shifts as I can get - often weeks are are 50-60 hrs) but make time to click away while watching TV at night.  It really adds up!  Over the years, it's been thousands of dollars.  I use some of it to buy Christmas and birthday gifts and some of it for grocery money.  :)

AMandM

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2017, 08:51:27 PM »
Ooh, I'm in!

Diane C, my family has always given used books as part of every Christmas and birthday.  Every once in a while someone gets a book bought new and there's always surprise.

I just found my MIL's Mother's Day present.  She is very sentimental about holidays, much more so than I, so I try to make the effort to find something she will like because I love her dearly.  She has been like a second mother to me since my mother died 20 years ago. I scored a mug with cute little hedgehogs that says, "If I didn't have you as my mom I'd choose you as my friend." Plus a book of stories about heroic dogs.  Like new condition.  She will not know they were thrifted, which is probably good.

Last Christmas, my two oldest daughters and their husbands got serendipitous thrift/found gifts.  One was a hammock stand that a neighbour was throwing away.  The other was a brand-new electric ice-cream churn, complete with instructions, tagged $15 but bought on 40% off day.  Not sure whether the ice-cream-loving daughter or the culinary gadget-loving son-in-law was more excited about that one!

PJ

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2017, 11:30:07 PM »
I just found my MIL's Mother's Day present.  She is very sentimental about holidays, much more so than I, so I try to make the effort to find something she will like because I love her dearly.  She has been like a second mother to me since my mother died 20 years ago. I scored a mug with cute little hedgehogs that says, "If I didn't have you as my mom I'd choose you as my friend." Plus a book of stories about heroic dogs.  Like new condition.  She will not know they were thrifted, which is probably good.

Last Christmas, my two oldest daughters and their husbands got serendipitous thrift/found gifts.  One was a hammock stand that a neighbour was throwing away.  The other was a brand-new electric ice-cream churn, complete with instructions, tagged $15 but bought on 40% off day.  Not sure whether the ice-cream-loving daughter or the culinary gadget-loving son-in-law was more excited about that one!

AMandM, those sound like great gifts!  Make sure you post back to let us know how your MIL reacts to her gift.  :-)
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PJ

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2017, 04:24:38 PM »
Reviving this thread as we get closer to Christmas and the holiday season in general.

Has anyone else tucked away more thrifted gifts over the spring, summer and fall?

There may be more, but there are two things I remember picking up - not entirely sure who they're going to yet!  One is a stackable plastic organizer for craft supplies, still wrapped up in plastic.  Probably will go to my sister-in-law, who makes jewellery for some side income.  Though I could open it, load it with craft supplies, and give it to my sister instead.  Also, a little table top chest with drawers, probably intended as a tea chest?  It's wood, but the drawers are ceramic, and it's in excellent condition.

Oh yeah!  Plus I bought a little rack with test tubes, also still in plastic.  I could fill it up with spices and give it to someone. (My niece?  She recently moved out on her own.)  Or, I could save it for next year, when maybe I'll actually get around to making the home made vanilla/coffee/whatever flavour extract I was thinking about over in the homemade Christmas thread.  Too late for this year!  But the test tubes would make cute containers to give small amounts of each flavour to different people, or to give one person several flavours, maybe along with some other baking ingredients.  Or, if giving my sister-in-law the stackable organizer, I could also fill the test tubes with some inexpensive but useful bulk beads (seed beads etc) to round out the gift.

More recently, I hit one thrift store yesterday, and found a really nice glass water bottle.  Realized later that it was supposed to have an infuser in it but I think I can still make it work as part of a gift - perhaps using it as the container in which to put some homemade jewellery, or a gift certificate for an exercise class, or some drink mix packages, or ...?

Also found a really cute embroidered change purse/pouch type thing, very pretty and with no signs of wear and tear.  Again, thinking of it as the packaging for a smaller gift inside.  This one might become part of an offering towards a silent auction we're having at the church in December, maybe along with a beaded bracelet or charm bracelet.

Hoping to hit another thrift store later this week - it would be good to have a couple more items on hand before really starting to sort out who gets what, and starting to put gifts together.

What treasures have you found lately?
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Drole

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2017, 08:30:35 PM »
I bought a little rack with test tubes, also still in plastic.  I could fill it up with spices and give it to someone.
I had this spice rack...from pottery barn I think. It works for things like dried basil, but for powders like mustard, the moisture comes in through the corks and makes them hard. Then you have to find a skinny knife to poke out your spice. 

I picked up some nicer baskets today as I think i'll make gift baskets for the kids' teachers and the property manager. I found some ghiradelli chocolates at the salvage grocer for $1 each for a small bag. I think i'll go back and buy more to make a chocolate themed gift basket for the upcoming school auction.


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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2017, 08:43:17 PM »
PJ, you're back! I have missed you! I hope all is well in your world. ~ Dicey
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2017, 11:37:13 PM »
I bought a little rack with test tubes, also still in plastic.  I could fill it up with spices and give it to someone.
I had this spice rack...from pottery barn I think. It works for things like dried basil, but for powders like mustard, the moisture comes in through the corks and makes them hard. Then you have to find a skinny knife to poke out your spice. 

I picked up some nicer baskets today as I think i'll make gift baskets for the kids' teachers and the property manager. I found some ghiradelli chocolates at the salvage grocer for $1 each for a small bag. I think i'll go back and buy more to make a chocolate themed gift basket for the upcoming school auction.

Thanks for the feedback!  This one has screw top lids, but I'll keep it in mind nonetheless that I can't be sure how good the seal is on it.  So herbs rather than spices, or else fun stuff like chocolate sprinkles for baking. :-)

PJ, you're back! I have missed you! I hope all is well in your world. ~ Dicey

I am back :-)  Thanks for the welcome - I missed you too.  All is well, life (aka work) just got busy, and days away from the forums turned into weeks and months before I knew it!

Also, I came back to add one more thing that I picked up the other day, but forgot to post about - jigsaw puzzles!  These will be part of Mom's Christmas gift.  One box, supposed to contain 4 puzzles.  3 bags of pieces are intact and unopened.  One bag is empty.  So mom will get three brand new puzzles, and won't care at all that they came from the thrift store.  She wouldn't mind used, either, as long as it was guaranteed to have all the pieces!
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2017, 11:56:00 PM »
I'm considering a thrift store/DIY combo to give away some baby pictures... my plan is to buy some thrift store wooden frames, then apply cloth-mache with squares of the baby clothes that were given to us by family to decorate the frames. Most of these clothes are no longer usable/donatable (infant clothes tend to get impossible-to-remove poop stains in the back!) I'm also going to make some cloth mache hot air balloons for the baby's room to decorate. Using up all these old infant clothes any way I can!

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2017, 10:01:56 PM »
I bought a little rack with test tubes, also still in plastic.  I could fill it up with spices and give it to someone.
I had this spice rack...from pottery barn I think. It works for things like dried basil, but for powders like mustard, the moisture comes in through the corks and makes them hard. Then you have to find a skinny knife to poke out your spice. 

I picked up some nicer baskets today as I think i'll make gift baskets for the kids' teachers and the property manager. I found some ghiradelli chocolates at the salvage grocer for $1 each for a small bag. I think i'll go back and buy more to make a chocolate themed gift basket for the upcoming school auction.

Test tube spice rack:  what about different flavors of herb dip mix or popcorn herbs and spice?  Upthread someone had popcorn bags, was that you?  Or pair it with a game, puzzle or playing cards for a game night themed gift.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2017, 10:30:32 PM »
I bought a little rack with test tubes, also still in plastic.  I could fill it up with spices and give it to someone.
I had this spice rack...from pottery barn I think. It works for things like dried basil, but for powders like mustard, the moisture comes in through the corks and makes them hard. Then you have to find a skinny knife to poke out your spice. 

I picked up some nicer baskets today as I think i'll make gift baskets for the kids' teachers and the property manager. I found some ghiradelli chocolates at the salvage grocer for $1 each for a small bag. I think i'll go back and buy more to make a chocolate themed gift basket for the upcoming school auction.

Test tube spice rack:  what about different flavors of herb dip mix or popcorn herbs and spice?  Upthread someone had popcorn bags, was that you?  Or pair it with a game, puzzle or playing cards for a game night themed gift.

Oh I have an idea for this!

Fancy fortunes for dinner parties. I found the idea on Etsy a few months ago.

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/209349380/dinner-party-game-after-dinner-fortunes?ref=

You can customise them for the recipient's interests or on a theme (Christmas/New Year/Valentine's Day), and they're reusable.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2017, 10:41:04 PM »
The op shops in my suburb are a bit shabby, but I have been socking away freebies from my work and husband's work.

So far I've put away for various relatives and friends some high-end bath salts and soap, a new book from a comedian, a car boot organiser, wine and a luxo sleep mask.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2017, 10:55:03 PM »
I bought a little rack with test tubes, also still in plastic.  I could fill it up with spices and give it to someone.
I had this spice rack...from pottery barn I think. It works for things like dried basil, but for powders like mustard, the moisture comes in through the corks and makes them hard. Then you have to find a skinny knife to poke out your spice. 

I picked up some nicer baskets today as I think i'll make gift baskets for the kids' teachers and the property manager. I found some ghiradelli chocolates at the salvage grocer for $1 each for a small bag. I think i'll go back and buy more to make a chocolate themed gift basket for the upcoming school auction.

Test tube spice rack:  what about different flavors of herb dip mix or popcorn herbs and spice?  Upthread someone had popcorn bags, was that you?  Or pair it with a game, puzzle or playing cards for a game night themed gift.

Oh I have an idea for this!

Fancy fortunes for dinner parties. I found the idea on Etsy a few months ago.

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/209349380/dinner-party-game-after-dinner-fortunes?ref=

You can customise them for the recipient's interests or on a theme (Christmas/New Year/Valentine's Day), and they're reusable.

Holy lab explosion, Batman! 

Those are cute, but at $26.20 Cdn, I can't believe that Etsy is telling me 3 people have them in their cart right now.  Not mustachians, I hope?  And who would pay an extra approx. $3.50 Cdn for a refill set of fortunes, rather than just printing up their own?

They are cute, though.  The set I have isn't big enough to do fortunes for my family, or for the potential giftees I had in mind, but will give some thought to whether this could work for someone else whose family might be the right size.  And making up the fortunes appeals to my crafty side...

I bought a little rack with test tubes, also still in plastic.  I could fill it up with spices and give it to someone.
I had this spice rack...from pottery barn I think. It works for things like dried basil, but for powders like mustard, the moisture comes in through the corks and makes them hard. Then you have to find a skinny knife to poke out your spice. 

I picked up some nicer baskets today as I think i'll make gift baskets for the kids' teachers and the property manager. I found some ghiradelli chocolates at the salvage grocer for $1 each for a small bag. I think i'll go back and buy more to make a chocolate themed gift basket for the upcoming school auction.

Test tube spice rack:  what about different flavors of herb dip mix or popcorn herbs and spice?  Upthread someone had popcorn bags, was that you?  Or pair it with a game, puzzle or playing cards for a game night themed gift.

I'd bid on a chocolate themed gift basket, for sure :-)

And great memory, yup, I have the popcorn bags.  Hmm.  The person I was thinking of for the popcorn bags probably wouldn't use fancy flavouring for their popcorn.  But yes, I also have brand new playing cards from the thrift store and was thinking along the lines of a movie or game night theme for them.

I'm considering a thrift store/DIY combo to give away some baby pictures... my plan is to buy some thrift store wooden frames, then apply cloth-mache with squares of the baby clothes that were given to us by family to decorate the frames. Most of these clothes are no longer usable/donatable (infant clothes tend to get impossible-to-remove poop stains in the back!) I'm also going to make some cloth mache hot air balloons for the baby's room to decorate. Using up all these old infant clothes any way I can! 

Makes sense!  Baby clothes often have formula food stains on part of the front, and unmentionable stains on the back, as you say!  But plenty of good fabric left. 

I bet some baby clothes would also make great rags - nice and soft, and low on lint after being washed a bunch of times.  Just cut off scratchy appliques, or button and snaps, and cut in appropriate size semi-squares for your wiping up needs.  I do that with old t-shirts, pajama pants, etc.  Rewash them a bunch of times, but if there's a particularly gross mess to clean up (like cat vomit!) I can just throw the thing out.

The op shops in my suburb are a bit shabby, but I have been socking away freebies from my work and husband's work.

So far I've put away for various relatives and friends some high-end bath salts and soap, a new book from a comedian, a car boot organiser, wine and a luxo sleep mask.

Yeah, takes some work to figure out where the good thrift stores are, and they may not be near you.  Actually, I don't often get the chance, but if I'm travelling and find a thrift store, I love to check them out.  I can scratch my "souvenir" itch on the cheap with some little household item, or a cute t-shirt or skirt different from what I'd find in the stores at home.

But it doesn't sound like you need thrift stores when you get nice freebies like that!  I could definitely picture using those things in some little gift baskets or themed gifts.  :-)
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2017, 11:24:24 PM »
But it doesn't sound like you need thrift stores when you get nice freebies like that!

I'm very fortunate.

I'm also careful to only take what I'll use (I took the book my friend will love but left half a dozen others).

And I'm not afraid to save ribbons and gift bags from things sent to my boss before they get tossed out.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2017, 06:19:09 PM »
PJ, definitely feeling you on the wipe cloth idea for the stained parts of the baby clothes.

Another idea for gifts that isn't thrift store but possibly cheaper - dollar store books! I recently got an awesome hardcover nonfiction book about caffeine for a dollar, as well as a few board books for various baby friends. They have a weirdly high amount of christian literature, I don't know why, but you can find some gems if you go in there every once in a while to look.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2017, 08:58:13 PM »
PJ, definitely feeling you on the wipe cloth idea for the stained parts of the baby clothes.

Another idea for gifts that isn't thrift store but possibly cheaper - dollar store books! I recently got an awesome hardcover nonfiction book about caffeine for a dollar, as well as a few board books for various baby friends. They have a weirdly high amount of christian literature, I don't know why, but you can find some gems if you go in there every once in a while to look.

Hmm, I never thought to look at books in the dollar store.  Board books especially, that's a good idea.  My nephew is the right age for those!
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2017, 10:10:44 PM »
Another great source of cheap board books: Rite Aid/Walgreens. After any major holiday, holiday-themed books are 75% off, usually that's a couple of bucks for a high-quality book you can gift next year (or read to your baby whenever, it's not like my one year old knows that Easter isn't this week and Duck and Goose shouldn't be hunting for easter eggs, so who cares really).

In other thrift store news, we got two big sets of megablox for $5, getting the baby hooked on Lego before she's allowed to use the little pieces. Also some fridge magnets that she loves playing with. I love spoiling my baby on the cheap, it makes it so much easier to get rid of toys if we didn't pay a lot for them in the first place.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2017, 05:05:43 PM »
I second the books - our Dollar store started carrying "regular" books and a nice selection at that. In the past they only carried Christian books.

Last week I scored at a local thrift store - brand new, hardcover books, mostly mysteries, perfect for my SIL. I was surprised they had them marked down to one dollar, looked like a special donation since they had several of each book.
Then I spotted two fancy looking, red velvet lined gold baskets - perfect:) only $3.99.

While it is fun when you score, thrifting can be addictive and turn you into a hoarder, so these days I only go about twice a year, otherwise I prefer being the one to donate. This was my first visit this year, so I am allowed once more:)
Nevertheless, it was a successful trip, I found the right size cobalt blue vase for one dollar - so now I can finish my bird bath project. Better yet, I found the perfect size flat clear pressed glass pieces I needed...

I agree, not everyone enjoys getting Thrift store gifts, but that's fine. We have friends who need Walmart GCs for diapers, so no, in that case I give them home baked cookies and the gc.

My gifting this year will be a mix of store bought (discount shops), home made (arts and crafts, jewelry, baked goods, herbs, teas, spices), gift cards, and a few thrift store finds mixed in - if it is suitable for the recipient. 

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2017, 05:53:14 PM »
A 2018 women's health diary was going free at work so I grabbed it, will put it with Christmas gift for MiL.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2017, 07:18:07 PM »
Love this thread! So far this year, I've gotten a brand new unopened jigsaw puzzle for 50 cents for my grandma (which I'll pair with some of her favorite homemade cookies) and cute shirt for my niece, which I think was 1.99.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2017, 05:29:40 AM »
A 2018 women's health diary was going free at work so I grabbed it, will put it with Christmas gift for MiL.

Oh those are really quite useful. My work is quite heavily into promoting them, always sell out very quickly.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2017, 08:29:50 AM »
Envious.  The thrift stores around here are all completely full of crap.  Example:  I found a 5 lb dumbbell, thought it was .99.  Took it to the cash and was told it was actually 6.99.  I can buy new weights at Fitness Depot for $1/lb.  Ridiculous.  As for the clothes, shoes, furniture and other stuff ... just awful.  And I used to find so much good stuff at the Salvation Army stores in Montreal.  Sigh.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2017, 11:14:26 PM »
Hit two thrift stores today, picked up a few more gifts for Christmas.

1.  Fishing net float - one of those glass balls, in colours I know my sister will love.
2.  An unopened jigsaw puzzle for my mom.
3.  A Thomas the Tank Engine tool box - not sure if it's complete, but my nephew is crazy about Thomas, so I'm hoping my brother and his wife won't mind him getting a used gift!  Mostly his gift will be some cash toward his RESP anyway.

I also found a few clothes for myself, to fill some gaps in my wardrobe - to replace stuff that doesn't fit anymore, or worn out.

Any recent scores for anyone else?
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2017, 12:23:06 AM »
Ha! I just wrote a long post during a bout of sleeplessness (thanks, menopause) about my thrifting adventures this week. DH rolled over and put his arm around me. His hand hit the tablet and poof, my post was gone. This is a sign that I must thrift some more this weekend and write a new post, right?
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2017, 12:44:27 AM »
Ha! I just wrote a long post during a bout of sleeplessness (thanks, menopause) about my thrifting adventures this week. DH rolled over and put his arm around me. His hand hit the tablet and poof, my post was gone. This is a sign that I must thrift some more this weekend and write a new post, right?

Oh gosh, I hate when things like that happen!  The other day, the new kitten walked across the keyboard when I was halfway through a big long email.  *sigh* 

Yes, please get some good finds, then report back to us.  :-)
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2017, 01:59:27 AM »
Ooh perfect timing!

Yesterday at work I scored some new books for gifts: a book on horses for my grandfather, a biography for FiL, and four recipe books for recipients yet to be determined.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2017, 02:48:16 PM »
This isn't a thrift store gift, but I wanted to share my good fortune - I entered a raffle survey and won a mini Buddha board (they're seriously cool, you use water as ink and it disappears when it dries, great for kids!) Since we already have one, it's going to be a gift for someone in my family.

Now a pro tip for winning raffles: fold your ticket/survey/business card in half when you drop it in. Folded paper gets shuffled to the top and picked out of a bag much more often than unfolded paper. Bwahaha!

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2017, 10:18:53 AM »
Ooh perfect timing!

Yesterday at work I scored some new books for gifts: a book on horses for my grandfather, a biography for FiL, and four recipe books for recipients yet to be determined.

How cool is that!  Sounds like you have a good handle on what type of books your family likes as well, which is great.

This isn't a thrift store gift, but I wanted to share my good fortune - I entered a raffle survey and won a mini Buddha board (they're seriously cool, you use water as ink and it disappears when it dries, great for kids!) Since we already have one, it's going to be a gift for someone in my family.

Now a pro tip for winning raffles: fold your ticket/survey/business card in half when you drop it in. Folded paper gets shuffled to the top and picked out of a bag much more often than unfolded paper. Bwahaha!

Congratulations on your win!  And thanks for the "pro tip!"
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2017, 10:43:43 PM »
This isn't a thrift store gift, but I wanted to share my good fortune - I entered a raffle survey and won a mini Buddha board (they're seriously cool, you use water as ink and it disappears when it dries, great for kids!) Since we already have one, it's going to be a gift for someone in my family.

Now a pro tip for winning raffles: fold your ticket/survey/business card in half when you drop it in. Folded paper gets shuffled to the top and picked out of a bag much more often than unfolded paper. Bwahaha!
Shhhhh, it doesn't work if everybody does it!!

FWIW, it worked for me last year. I bought 20 raffle tickets ($100) at a charity auction, folded the corners, and wrote "Thanks!" on each one. I won a 7 Day Holland America Cruise that has no expiration date. Woo-hoo!
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2017, 04:28:18 AM »
Ooh perfect timing!

Yesterday at work I scored some new books for gifts: a book on horses for my grandfather, a biography for FiL, and four recipe books for recipients yet to be determined.

How cool is that!  Sounds like you have a good handle on what type of books your family likes as well, which is great.


Thanks!

It does help to pay attention to what people are passionate about.

Yet more free books on offer at work this week, so I passed two on to Marty. Finance books. :D

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2017, 05:27:32 PM »
Scored nine more free books at work today, eight will be given as gifts.

If there are any left at the end of the day I will have a second look.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2017, 07:15:00 AM »
My favorite local thrift store does a really cool thing. This week, Monday and Tuesday, everything in the store was 25% off. Today and tomorrow, everything's 50% off. Friday and Saturday, 75% off. Then they close the store for the rest of the year, so everyone can enjoy time with their families!!! I love this!
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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2017, 02:42:22 PM »
My favorite local thrift store does a really cool thing. This week, Monday and Tuesday, everything in the store was 25% off. Today and tomorrow, everything's 50% off. Friday and Saturday, 75% off. Then they close the store for the rest of the year, so everyone can enjoy time with their families!!! I love this!

We have one that does that basically every week! Clothes only, but the final day, everything in the store is 25-cents. 

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2017, 02:56:13 PM »
The goodwill chain in my area started doing discounts on two of their color tags every week. It is one color 30% off Sun-Wed, then it drops to 50% off Thurs-Sat, and one other color is a straight up 75% off the whole week. I LOVE this.

Also not sure if this has been mentioned before, but Goodwills (at least the ones around me) have deals to take brand new never used overstock and remainder items from local businesses. We're talking new in box memory foam mattresses, clothing (saw a ton of new with tags Target shirts one time), socks, toys, costume jewelry, movies/music... you just have to keep an eye out for the stuff since they mix it in with the used items.

I frequently have no idea what I'm talking about. Like now.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #48 on: December 13, 2017, 03:15:29 PM »
For people that like wine or liquors I go to thrift stores and buy nice baskets, 2 nice wine or liqueur glasses and cloth napkins.  Then I line the basket with the napkin and buy a bottle of wine and put the 2 glasses in it too. Many thrift stores will have beautiful glasses in sets of 2 because the others were broken.  People love this gift.  I have also donated these for silent auctions.

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Re: Thrift Store Gifts!
« Reply #49 on: December 13, 2017, 03:32:45 PM »
I'm with you all!

I bought a new thing for my child (that he needed, replacing one he'd made several years ago and outgrown), some chocolate to put in the pile, and a couple of handmade items supporting local artists or groups.

The rest are found, in these places:

1. Contents of a gift basket I won. Several of the items in it were already "regifts." The event invited each guest to bring any contribution. People brought food from their pantries, gift cards they weren't going to use, gifts they'd previously received (candles, wine) etc. The pile of items were divvied into baskets, which were raffled off. I won one, enjoyed some items for myself, and am wrapping most -including the basket- to regift to my people :)   

I'd never seen this system for gift basket raffle before, and think it's brilliant! My win also made me terrifically happy, and the re-re-gifted contents will go on to make others happy too!

2. Library - Often I get books there for 25 cents to $1, but this year they were FREE! Got eight my kid will love.

3. My home - I had a few things I no longer needed, so they go into the pile to wrap too.

4. Thrift - Couple of things from there. A picture verse that will make one sister laugh hard; a miniature kitschy dolly another sibling will get a kick out of; etc.
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